A call to all people of conscience...
What people come across frequently, they tend to eventually grow used
to. This familiarity can so develop over time that things which elicit
violent surprise or protest when first witnessed become routine matters
just a short while later.
The wars and conflicts taking place in our world are a case in point.
When a country is first occupied and a slaughter or genocide first begins,
this can lead to violent protests worldwide. Let us, for instance, consider
the first days of the Bosnian conflict, or Chechnya, or Palestine…
The image of a Palestinian child on his father's lap who will soon be
a target for the bullets of Israeli soldiers, Chechen babies murdered
in their nappies, women, the elderly and children alike subjected to a
terrible genocide in Bosnia…
When people first see such images, they often talk about their feelings
of outrage and say they want to do something. However, over time the never-ending
stream of horrific reports ceases to attract their attention anymore.
More people die every day, women are raped, and children are shot or lose
a foot after stepping on mines… However, people's reactions in the
early days are replaced by an odd insensitivity. When they buy a newspaper,
they are often more interested in celebrity gossip than stories of war.
That is because the deaths of a few people in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir
or East Turkestan have become merely "routine news."
Moreover, propaganda at the same time portrays all this savagery as political
developments. Thus it is that many people see the continuing slaughter
in Chechnya as an internal Russian affair, what is going on in Palestine
as a struggle for land between Israel and Palestine, and the Hindu oppression
of the people of Kashmir as a problem rooted in the region's strategic
position. Among others, it is true that historical and economic factors
do play a role in the emergence of conflict. Chechnya is of great economic
and strategic importance to Russia. Fanatical Jews have maintained the
intention of occupying Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories for
centuries. However, internal or economic problems aren't the only cause
of the oppression visited on the Chechen people by the Russian administration,
nor the violence that Muslim peoples in Africa are subjected to, nor the
violent cruelty and ethnic cleansing suffered before the eyes of the whole
world by Muslims in the Balkans. As we shall see in later chapters of
this book, these people's Muslim identity is one of the main reasons for
Since these people believe in Allah and want to live their lives according
to the demands of their religion, and want to raise their children to
be believers too, they are subjected to various forms of oppression. The
existence of strong states upholding spiritual values or a strong union
of Islamic nations that would protect the rights of Muslims within a legal
framework of justice gives rise to grave concerns among certain circles
in the West and poses a threat to the interests of certain others.
Another aspect of the matter is that some people know nothing about the
people who live in these countries, and often have never even heard of
the countries themselves. The situation of someone who has no idea of
the difficulties, oppression and acts of violence, hunger and poverty
suffered by Muslims living in Sudan, Algeria, Indonesia, Myanmar, Djibouti
and Tunisia is certainly food for thought. It is impossible for such a
person to extend a helping hand to believers whom he does not know even
exist. Other people are aware of this cruelty and injustice. Yet it does
not even occur to them that they might be able to help or try to put an
end to the oppression. Furthermore, they so convince themselves that they
are unable to do anything about it that neither the reports they read
nor the images they see on the television screen trouble their consciences
in the slightest.
A true believer, however, is responsible for all that he hears and sees.
Allah calls on Muslims in the Qur'an:
What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way
of Allah - for those men, women and children who are oppressed and say,
"Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers!
Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!" (Qur'an, 4:
There is no question, of course, of people of conscience who obey the
command contained in that verse closing their eyes and ignoring what is
going on. It is impossible for a Muslim to sleep irresponsibly in his
comfortable bed, fritter away his time, and think only about his own pleasure
and interests when such violent cruelty is going on in the world. That
is because a believer knows that the fundamental solution to unjust wars,
massacres, cruelty, hunger and moral degeneration, in short to all of
the world's problems, lies in spreading the morality of the Qur'an. That
knowledge places a great responsibility on his shoulders: that of explaining
the religion of Islam and the beautiful things it brings with it, propagating
the morality of the Qur'an, and waging a war of ideas against atheism…
Those who take on that honorable duty will free all those who are oppressed
in the world by the guidance of the Qur'an:
... A Light has come to you from Allah and a Clear Book.
By it, Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of Peace.
He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and
guide them to a straight path. (Qur'an, 5: 15-16)
The intention behind this book is to lay bare the plight of innocent
Muslims all over the world, and to invite people of conscience to consider
this situation and seek a solution. This is not a time to remain silent,
behave uncaringly, dedicate ourselves to the petty benefits of this world
and kill time with pointless debates and squabbles. At a time when millions
of Muslims are suffering such terrible cruelty, it could be an act of
the greatest heedlessness to refuse to shoulder any burden for Islam.
There is also no doubt but that it will bring with it the gravest consequences
in the hereafter.